De Beers hosts Shining Light judges

The competition has evolved from rigorous designs
The competition has evolved from rigorous designs

De Beers Group recently hosted six judges at AVANI Gaborone Hotel and Casino for the judging of the 2018-2019 Shining Light Awards.

It saw the participation of six judges from Southern Africa being Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa and one international judge from Milan, Italy.

The judging was a two-day process that started on July 15, 2019 and the next day.

The panel consisted of International Judge Professor Alba Cappellieri of Design of Jewellery and Fashion Accessories at the Politecnico di Milano (, two judges from Botswana (the host country) Mothusi Lesolle designer and owner of iZaura and Raees Abdoola managing director of Azzurro Diamonds.

The judge from Namibia was Andreas Herrle co-owner of Herma and Herrle Jewellers in

Namibia and the South African judges Labi Kapo CEO of Akapo Jewels and Ursula Kagiso Pule creative director at Nungu Diamonds. 

Pat Dambe, vice president corporate affairs and government relations, joined the panel and her role was to assist with moderation and ensuring that the process went smoothly.

The judging concluded on July 16 at 6pm.

Wanetsha Mosinyi of De Beers group told Arts & Culture that the winners would be announced on November 5, 2019 at a Gala event. Mosinyi added that Botswana De Beers Group Designers Initiative has proven to be a valuable design platform to showcase talent and open opportunities for young people within the diamond sector and international markets.  “De Beers Group continues to be a significant player in beneficiation through skills development of the youth,” he said. 

He was quick to acknowledge that De Beers Group recognises the partnerships, patrons, institutions, industry leaders and the people of Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada for their contribution towards the strong foundation the Shining Light awards are built on.

“The competition’s popularity has grown over the years, and jewellery design talent that resides in our producer countries is growing,” Cappellieri said in an interview. 

De Beers Group Designers Initiative - Shining Light Awards has been an important one and a driver for Beneficiation through youth skills development for De Beers Group and the producer partners of the Governments of Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada.

Seven years ago, the competition evolved from rigorous jewellery designs and competitors are now designing a commercial collection.

This year 80 entries were received under the theme ‘Heroines and Heritage’.

The competition was open to citizens of Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada. Under the theme, students were encouraged to look at their heritage and showcase how they would celebrate the heroines and heritage from their respective countries.

The entrants were to translate the theme from an idea, into commercially viable jewellery business.

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